On August 4, 2019, the entire city of Dayton was shocked when a 24-year-old man opened fire on a crowded street, killing ten people and injuring 27 more. While police officers shot and killed the gunman during the attack, investigators still sought information regarding anyone else who might have been involved or assisted in the mass shooting. As a result, a friend of the shooter is facing federal firearm charges.
While the friend claims he was just as shocked as everyone else after the attack and had no idea the shooter was planning such a violent act, police arrested him in connection with the weapons used by the shooter. According to reports, the friend purchased a firearm, body armor, accessories for an AR-15, and a 100-round drum magazine and stored it at his house for the shooter. The weapons charges stem from the unlawful purchase and possession of firearms.
Ohio Gun Laws
Ohio is known as a pro-gun state due to the nature of many state gun laws. You do not need a license or permit to purchase a gun, and there is no waiting period before you can take the firearm home. However, Ohio law does place restrictions on who can purchase a gun, and any of the following can prohibit you from purchasing or possessing a firearm:
- Drug-related or violent felony convictions
- Being a fugitive of justice
- Regular use of drugs or dependency on drugs or alcohol
- Mental incompetency or involuntary commitment to a mental health facility
- Being subject to domestic violence restraining orders
- Other prohibitions under federal law
When you purchase a firearm from a federally-licensed dealer, you must fill out Form 4473, which aims to ensure you are qualified to purchase the gun.
In the case of the Dayton shooting, the shooter’s friends reportedly admitted to authorities that he used marijuana “every day for the past 10 years,” as well as doing “hard drugs” with the shooter and growing psychedelic mushrooms at home and using them. Law enforcement officers confiscated marijuana, mushrooms, and a bong from the friend’s home.
On the friend’s Form 4473 used to purchase the firearms, he falsely stated that he did not use any type of illegal drugs. He admitted to authorities that he knew he would not qualify for the firearms purchase if he was truthful on the form. For this reason, authorities arrested him, and he now faces the following federal charges:
- Possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance
- Making false statements or representations (on Form 4473)
The charges come with a maximum sentence of 15 years in federal prison if he is convicted.
Discuss Your Charges with a Dayton Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
Even though Ohio has some of the most lenient gun laws in the United States, there are still strict limitations against certain people possessing weapons. If you are arrested or charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, you should consult with a Dayton criminal defense attorney at The VanNoy Firm. Contact us to discuss your situation right away.